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Vicki’s Travel Diary

Monday, 10 Oct 2011

Location: Escalante, USA

MapI'm now in Escalante, part of the Grand Staircase - Escalante national monument. It's a bit more gentle on the senses than the last 2 parks! I managed to post some photos the other day, but time on computers is expensive and restricted, so I do what I can!
Zion and Bryce Canyons were both stunning in completely different ways. Zion has amazing sandstone formations. The campsites etc are based in the valley and you climb up to the rim - absolutely amazing scenery - so much geology and so big - it's difficult to get a view on the camera. But almost any direction you point the camera is really nice. It was warm enough on the campsite, and I had 2 days of really good hiking. I found a hiking companion for one of the days - a Canadian girl who was very good company. She wanted to do The Narrows on the second day - it's a hike along a river - sometimes swimming - far too cold for me! So I went up Angel's Landing, which involved an easy scramble - great fun and good views.
That was last Tuesday - it was fairly warm - shorts and t -shirt weather - but it rained all afternoon and when I got back to the tent I found it had leaked!!! I quickly transfered everything to the car, went into town and found a motel! I've contacted the guy who rented me the gear - he's going to ship me a smaller tent out to Moab, where I'll be in a few days time. I hope it is warmer.
Quote of the month - from an American lady in Zion, about 2 minutes after I'd told her and her group I was from England
"You speak good English" "Thank you very much" I replied - what else could I say????
Bryce was amazing. (It's not a canyon but an eroded edge of a plateau). When I got there there was loads of snow!!! (See photos - what a difference a day makes). You stay on the top of the plateau and walk down to the bottom. The rock is limestone, with some dolomite, and weathering has produced thousands of hoodoos, which are pinnacles of various shapes and sizes, some that look verymuch like people. The colours are amazing. Walking down amomgst them is fantastic - I did some really good hikes while I was there. And was so glad I had taken my down jacket and gloves, which I wasn't expecting to wear till November on the East coast.
On Sunday I drove to Kodachrome Basin, which had some great rock formations. It's named after Kodak, because the colours are so amazing. Did a really nice trail with a postman from Scarborough!
Then drove to Escalante, which is a very small town with only a few motels and restaurants. Found a good motel, then went for a walk to a reservoir and petrified forest. It was almost a relief to see more gentle scenery and a lake, after the assault on my senses from the past few days! More good hiking today, and a scenic drive. Then it will be back to my motel for a shower before getting some food. They're mostly Mormons here in Utah, so alcohol is only served with food. And some places seem to positively disapprove! At least my alcohol consumption has gone way down this trip!!
I'm off to Capitol reef NP tomorrow - not sure where I'm staying yet. Then Moab Thursday, to do Arches and Canyonlands.